How to Build a Fence | Mitre 10 Easy As

Building a fence is the easiest
way to give your property some extra safety, security, and
privacy from the road or from your neighbours. Everyone will see it too. So it’s a good reason to
make sure it’s built well and looks good. The fence we’re building
here is a simple post rail and paling fence. Follow these instructions
and with a good plan, you’ll be able to
do it yourself. Now there’s a few
things you need to be aware of before
you get into it. Firstly, you can build a
fence up to 2.5 metres high without a building permit. But it’s always best to
check with your council before starting. And if you’re building
on a boundary line, your best to talk to your
neighbour about what sort of fence you’re building, it’s
costs, and your start time. Also download a copy
of the Fencing Act to make sure you’re in the know. Next, you’ll need to
establish your boundary. If you can’t find your boundary
pegs, get a copy of your plans from the council or get a
surveyor in to help you out. Also it’s important to check
your council plans to see where all your pipes are located. You certainly don’t want
to hit any of those. And also, you’ll need to call
your electricity provider for info on underground
wires because these may not be shown on your plans. So now it’s time to decide
what your fence is going to look like and
what materials you’re going to use to build it. In our situation,
we’re just going to match the existing fence
with a rough sawn post, four by two rails, and
rough sawn fence palings. You could also get dressed
or glue laminate posts and a variety of paint finished
palings in different sizes. So now you can measure up,
draw yourself up a plan, and get your materials
ordered a few days before you start the job. OK, the site’s been cleared so
I’ve got a nice clean canvas to work with. The first thing I have
to do is establish exactly where my boundary is
so I can put up my string line. OK. I’ve got my string line up. Now, not only does this
represent exactly where my boundary line is,
it also represents the center of my post holes. Normally when I build
a fence, I put my posts at no more than 2 metres apart. You can go up to 2.4. In this situation
I’ve measured out, and two metres is exactly
where the existing fence was and I can see there’s
still concrete in the hole. I don’t want to dig
all that concrete out. So what I’m going
to do is actually space my posts a little
bit closer together. At the moment, I’ve
got five posts. I’m going to put
one extra post in. So that’s going to give
me six posts, which will mean I can get away from
all that existing concrete. Using my tape
measure and dazzle, I’ll measure and mark
the center of each post along the boundary line. Then I’m ready to
dig my holes, which need to be a minimum of
250 millimetres in diameter and 600 millimetres deep. You can use a spade
to dig them by hand but I’ve hired a posthole borer
to make the job nice and easy. So I measure and mark the
required depth on the auger so I know when to stop. I’m using the two piece
and posthole borer, so I’ve got a mate in to help. And make sure to
clean the hole out before you drop your posts in. Ok, all my postholes are dug. They’re looking great. I’m just about ready to throw
my posts in, ready for concrete. Now, I’ve moved our
string line, which was the center of our postholes. I’ve moved that over
100 millimetres. I’ve got to 100 because
our post is 100 mil thick, so I’m coming in half
that, which is 50. And I’m just going to
keep our string line 50 millimetres off our post. The reason for that
is, most of the time these rough sawn posts
have a few dags on them and that could affect
our string line if the string line was
to be hard up against it. I’ve also put a string
line at the top. That’s 100 millimetres away
from our center as well. Now I’ve got two
different fence heights. I’ve got one here that
I’m starting from and one down the other end that’s
200 millimetres higher. So I’ve set the string
line up using my laser to shoot a nice
straight line and I’ll keep my post full
length then cut them to height down the track. Now I’m just about ready
to put my posts in. I’ve got a bit a
concrete in the bottom for my posts to sit on
because we don’t want our posts touching the ground. Now I’ve also got myself an
off cut, of four by two here, which is 50 mil thick. So I’m going to use that in
between the post and the string line just to use as a rule. And I’ve also got
a couple of braces here with screws already
in the end ready for me to screw into my pegs that I’ve
already plonked in the ground. Because I’m working
on my own, I just have to get myself set
up to make it easy. So what I’m going to do is put
my brace up against my peg. And it’s going to make sure
that I’m 50 mil away, which is the thickness of our block. It’s pretty good down there. And that’s about five mil away. So it says I just need to
tweak that bottom over a tad. And come back and check that. So that’s looking good. So what we’ll do is put
a screw in our brace. And we’ll put one down here. So I’m just going
to pick up my brace and put that on the
other side of the peg. I’ll do a quick check for plum
and secure the second brace at the top and the bottom. That’s looking great. So what I’m going to do
now is set up my next post. Use the same peg,
come back on to that, process is exactly the same. And that’s all my posts
braced, ready for concrete. I’ve mixed up all my concrete
as per the instructions on the back of the bag. All I have to do, plonk that in
the hole about 100 millimetres from the top. Work out any bubbles and
let it set for 24 hours. It’s been 24 hours,
concrete’s nice and set. The posts are looking good. Next thing I have to do
is take our braces off. Rightio. So I’m just about ready
to start marking out my fence post for where
my rails are situated. I’m just going to match in
with my existing fence here. We’re 50 millimetres
down from my string line here, which indicates
the top of my paling. Now normally you could go a
maximum of 150 millimetres from your top of your rail
to the top of your paling. So we’re just going to copy in
here what’s here, 50 mil down. So we’re going to keep that
line all the way through. So on my first new post,
I’ll mark 50 millimetres down from the string line. Do the same on my last post. And then run a chalk
line between the two, indicating the top of
my first set of rails. And to match the
existing, I’ll do the same for the middle rails. Now for my bottom
rail, ultimately, I’d like to match up
with what’s existing, but I can’t do that because
my ground level here is slightly higher
than over there. So what I’m going to do is
just take our ground level and come up 50 millimetres,
and that measurement there will be the bottom of our rail. If I wasn’t working in
with an existing fence, I would mark the
top of my top rail 150 millimetres
down from the top of the fence, the
bottom of my bottom rail 150 millimetres up
from the ground, and then split the difference
for the middle rail. So that’s the bottom
of my bottom rail marked on all my posts. Now there’s a couple
of different ways we can fix our fence rails. One is to the face like that
spanning over three posts. Or what we’re going to do,
is take our fence rails and fix it in between our posts. Now when you start
measuring out for your rails in between the posts, take
the measurement at the bottom and use that for
all three rails. I’ve already squared
my mark around. I’ve got a nail sitting on there
that’s going to help me out. So I just sit that in there
nice and flush with the front. Now, you could use
four inch nails or 90 mil galvanized nails
to fix that to the post. What I like to use is these
100 mil galvanize bugle screws. Reason for that is, it’s
going to reduce any twisting or warping of our
posts and our rails and it’s just going
to hold everything together nice and strong. Now, if you are working
in a high wind zone, I’d recommend you use something
like 100 mil by 10 mil coat screw. That’ll fix it in nice
and strong as well. And it’s best practice to
use three screws per rail on each end. For the top rail,
what I will use is my strop to make sure
I tighten those two posts and really nice and tight. My fence rails are up. They’re looking fantastic. Now when we put our
palings to our rails, we want to keep them off
the ground about 20 odd mil. So I’ve just laid
a board down there. And we’re just going to drop
our paling on top of that. Now I’ve left my line on here. That’s always been
our level line. And our boards are going to
stick above it because we’re not staying to this height. We’re staying to our height
on the other end of the fence, which is 200 millimetres down. So I’m going to
use the string line to get a nice straight
line later and then come back, cut those off,
and then cut our posts off. Because I’m using a 25
millimetre thick fencing paling, I’m going to use my
65 mil galvanized fencing nail to fix these. And I’m going to
be using my nail gun to apply the nail through. Now obviously you can use a
hammer and nail to do this. Couple more little tips
before you crack into it. When we put our boards up,
we’re going to use a hammer and chisel, get
it nice and tight, because nine times out
of 10, these boards have got a lot of moisture in them. When the sun hits them
and dries them out, more than likely,
you’ll get a little gap. So we’ll try and avoid that. And then fix them with two
nails per paling on each rail. And about every six
or seven boards, we’re going to throw
our trusty level on there just to make sure we’re
staying plum the whole way. Another wee tip is
to use a spirit level to give yourself a straight
line for your nails to follow. A few rails from the end,
measure the remaining space as you may very well need to rip
your final paling down to fit. Simply measure and mark
each end, ruler line along, and cut it down using
your circular saw. Then fix them in place, and
that’s all our palings on. I’ve flicked the
chalk line on the wall here for me to cut the
top of my palings off. Now I’m just going to use my
trusty circular saw to do that. Just going to set that just
the depth of the palings. And you could put a
board underneath here if you don’t trust yourself
with a nice straight freehand. But however, I’m just going to
freehand that and give myself a nice straight line. Finally, cut the posts off at
an angle so the water runs off. So there’s our new fence. Just stick to the plan
and it’ll be easy as. Make sure you subscribe to
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